Salvadorean President Nayib Bukele on Thursday said that relations with China were complete and established, giving the strongest signal yet that the small Central American nation will not take up ties again with Taiwan.
“At the moment, we have diplomatic relations with China that are complete, that are established,” Bukele said at a business conference in the capital. “We have to recognize China’s status in the world.”
El Salvador, which for many years had close relations with the US, in August last year — under the previous administration — broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China.
Bukele’s government, which took power on June 1, had planned to assess whether that decision should remain in place, a member of his team said after February’s election.
El Salvador followed the Dominican Republic and Panama in switching to China, even as the White House warned that Beijing was luring countries with incentives that “facilitate economic dependence and domination, not partnership.”
China later offered El Salvador about US$150 million for social projects and about 2,700 tinnes of rice to feed thousands of Salvadoreans during a drought.
Bukele also said he would seek aid outside of China, while acknowledging its status as the world’s second-biggest economy.
“We’re going to look to develop El Salvador wherever we have to look, the United States, Mexico, China, Germany, the European Union,” he said.
“We recognize China’s position in the world and we’re working based on that,” he said.
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